This is an excllent account of some of the major disasters that have happened in Canada.It not only covers many of the biggest disasters,but many of the smaller ones as well.It no means covers all the disasters that have happened over Canada's relatively short history.Just the disasters and loss of lives on the oceans along Canada's coastlines would fill volumes,let alone those on the Great Lakes.
What the book does is cover many of the better known disasters under 5 sections; Nautical Disasters (11),Earth,Underground & Slides,(12),Fires (11),Weather,Wind,Water & Ice,(14),and Technology and Human Error,Trains,Bridges,Airlines,(14). With some there were large loss of lives,while others had few and even none.Therefore ,since the author has had to be selective,there are many ,many others that are not mentioned;but the more "famous" are generally there.
It is surprising how few Canadians know anything at all about Canadian Disasters,particularly if they are anytime in the past.This book fills a great void in one's knowledge of Canadian history.The reason for this lack of knowledge has several reasons.I don't recall any of these disasters ever being covered in our school history;the Media does a very poor job of keeping these events alive,except for the short time when they happened,through movies and literature,while Canada is swamped by what is produced in the US.Patriotism and History is much more prominent in the US ,throughout education and various forms of Media and Entertainment.Nationalism and Politics replaces Patriotism and History in Canada as compared to the US.The concepts of Life,Liberty,and the Pursuit of Happiness in the US ;and the concepts of Peace,Order and Good Government in Canada; are founding principles,and to a large degeree result in Canadians lack of knowledge of their history.Even in our education system,much more emphasis was placed on European and particularly British History,and our literature was even called English Literature.
For instance,one would be hard pressed to find many Canadians who could even name more than a handful of Prime Ministers .
So it's not surprising that few Canadians have any idea if of the Sinking of the "Empress of Ireland",a sister ship of the Titanic,which sank in Canadian waters (Gulf of St Lawrence),2 years after the Titanic,with the loss of 1012 lives,and actually more passengers than the Titanic,which had a much larger complement of crew and service personal ,which resulted in a larger overall loss.Most people have a little idea that there was a a major disaster called "The Halifax Explosion in 1917,but not really aware of any details.Two ships collided in Halifax Harbor,one loaded with explosives;resulting in 1963 dead,9000 injured,and 25000 homeless.This was the largest man made explosion in history,prior to the Atomc Bomb dropped on Hiroshima.And who ever heard of a Tsunami,with 100foot waves in Canada? Everybody knows of the great Dust Bowl and Locust Plagues of the midwest and Oklahoma,from the many movies and Steinbeck's "East Of Eden" ;but did you know what happened in Alberta,Manitoba and Saskatchewan during those 1930's?
Maybe the time is long past when the Canadian educational system deals with what happened here in Canada and the rest of North America,instead of ignoring it in favor of British and European history and Literature.